NEW DELHI: The governing International Cricket Council (ICC) played down threats to the game’s 50-overs format on Wednesday and said a “healthy” number of one-day internationals will be played in the 2023-27 cycle.
The proliferation of lucrative domestic T20 leagues have cramped up cricket’s already-strained calendar and England all-rounder Ben Stokes attributed his shock ODI retirement to an “unsustainable” schedule.
Earlier this month South Africa abandoned their ODI tour of Australia as it clashed with the launch of their domestic T20 league rising their chances of qualifying directly for next year’s World Cup in India.
ICC chief executive Geoff Allardice said structuring of the game’s three formats was discussed at the governing body’s annual general meeting in Birmingham where the Future Tours Programme (FTP) 2023-27 was finalised.
“I think at this stage there is some discussion, not specifically about ODIs, but about the mix of formats within the calendar,” Allardice told a video conference.
“Countries have been, in their FTPs, are still scheduling a healthy number of ODIs as well.
“So in the FTP, I don’t think you’ll see any significant change to the number of ODIs or the proportion of ODIs as being planned.”
Australia test batsman Usman Khawaja has said one-day cricket was “dying a slow death”, while former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram called the format a “drag”.
Allardice conceded some members put “particular attention on their domestic leagues” but insisted their commitment to international and bilateral cricket was “as strong as it’s ever been”.
“Each of them has to manage that balance between domestic competitions, their international schedule and the management of their players.
“Each of those boards is in slightly different situation. So there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to that balancing issue.”
ICC chairman Greg Barclay acknowledged franchise-based leagues were expanding fast.
“So there’s a lot of pressure on the calendar, but I’m not sure it’s a tipping point,” said the New Zealander.